What We Can Learn From Ayla Brown

What Women Really Think
Jan. 21 2010 11:34 AM

What We Can Learn From Ayla Brown


Lauren and Meghan , I totally agree with you that a cultural double standard prevents women from getting away with the kind of self-promotion that men see as a natural right. And for evidence I turn to ... well, us.


Lauren, in your post on Clay Shirky's "Rant About Women," you seemed to lament the fact that an outspoken woman will draw charges of being "a bitch, a dyke, or other unsavory labels." Like "Tracy Flick," maybe? That's what you called Ayla Brown, a 20-year-old singer whose Web site is a little over-the-top, the day after you posted on women's reluctance to self-promote.

I'm sure you aren't the only woman in America who rolled her eyes when she checked out Ayla's site . I'm sure because I did, too. "The anthem girl"? Really? But wait, why is our reaction to a young singer with a Web site disparagement for enumerating her every accomplishment? She's an aspiring artist trying to make a name for herself-of course she has a Web site! It's exactly the sort of self-promotion that Clay Shirky would be proud of. But it's also exactly the sort of the self-promotion that's going to remain rare among women if every time they attempt it, we respond with taunts of "Tracy Flick."

Photograph of Ayla Brown by Ray Amati/NBAE/Getty Images.



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